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Hidden Gags in Looney Tunes
and Merrie Melodies Cartoons

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Busy Bakers
(Hardaway & Dalton, 1940)

Wake up guys!

Who's that elf?   When the little baker elves pile out of bed, one is a caricature of Henry Binder. (And in front of him are Jerry Colonna and Harpo Marx caricatures).

Confederate Honey
(Freleng, 1940)


Ready for action?   The line of soldiers includes some familar faces. From left to right, this has charactures of Melvin Millar, Henry Binder, Ray Katz and (animator) Paul J. Smith.

This cartoon was a combination of live action and animation. Because the live actors are all members of the Termite Terrace staff it provides a rare opportunity to see them "in the flesh".
[Thanks to Jerry Beck for help identifying a few of these!]


Porky's animator
[Select to see more]

Name that animator  This animator - who signals lunchtime for everyone at Termite Terrace, is named Fred Jones (no relation to Chuck).


The rush to lunch!
[Select to see more]

Keeping up with the Joneses  As the crew piles out for lunch you can very briefly see the face of Chuck Jones.


The head man

Leon speaks   In these two pictures you can see the man who runs the place - Leon Schlesinger. One interesting tidbit about this film - Mel Blanc supplied the voices for everyone except Leon.


A studio cop?   No, but he plays one in this film. He's really Michael Maltese, the story writer.



Quiet on the set!   The "director" in this scene is really animator Gerry Chiniquy.



Two more faces   These two stage assistants who shout "quiet!" are really Henry Binder and Paul Marin (an animation checker).


Out he goes!

See ya' Porky!   The man who throws out Porky is Henry Binder once again.

Circus Today
(Avery, 1940)

The LS Circus
[Select to see more]

Initial "Circus Today" Gag   On the main circus tent entrance you can see that this is the "LS Circus". These are the initials of the man in charge of the "circus" known as the cartoon studio, Leon Schlesinger. It's just the first of many staff members to be mentioned and/or caricatured in the film.


The Glutton

Gamer   One circus sideshow features "Gamer The Glutton". There was an animator at the studio named A. C. ("Ace") Gamer who lent his name to this performer.


One Hot Act!

Next Act...   Another performer is called "Hot Foot Hogan". This is apparently named after story writer, Rich Hogan. Select this link to hear the announcer introducing Hot Foot Hogan.


The Human Cannonball

Get ready for the captain!   Another circus act is introduced as "Captain Clampett", the "Human Cannonball". This is a caricature of Bob Clampett, one of the directors at the studio. You can listen to "Captain Clampett's introduction right here.


Nice kitty...

And now...   Next on the program is the lion-tamer, Captain Clyde Binder. This performer uses the last name of Henry Binder, one of Schlesinger's assistants. Here's the announcer talking about Capt Binder.


The games we play...
[Select to see more]

What's that say?   At first glance, the billboard in the distance doesn't have any obvious words on it but if you use just a little imagination to "connect the lines" a bit, you can see the potential makings of a 4-letter word there.

Prehistoric Porky
(Clampett, 1940)

Expire Magazine
[Select to see more]

Expire: The Magazine for Cavemen   As Porky looks at the cover of his new magazine, you can see a bunch of strange names along the right side. Many of these are altered versions of staff member names. For example, under "ARTICLES" you see
Ray Blouse = unknown
Tick Deomas = Dick Thomas (background artist)
Have Doffman = Dave Hoffman (animator)
Cohn Jarey = John Carey (animator) and
Rive Visto = Vive Risto (animator).
Under "Fiction" there are:
Cob Blampett = Bob Clampett (director)
Farren Woster = Warren Foster (writer) and
Musey Tillar = Tubby Millar (writer).
Because it's a bit smudged, I'm not sure what the final name in the "Fiction" section is supposed to be. Note that at the bottom "CARTOON" section, partial "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" listings can be seen.

The Sour Puss
(Clampett, 1940)

Today's News
[Select to see more]

Acme Takes a Dive   Among the headlines here you can see "Acme Suspenders Break; Consolidated Pants Drop". Also note that there is some irony in having a headline of "Shareholder Shoots Self" in a paper called "The Daily Blast".

Bedtime For Sniffles
(Jones, 1940)

Time for a gag?

Watching for Monahan   If you take a close look at Sniffles clock you see a name on the face: Monahan - as in story writer Dave Monahan.

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